“If you can become less tactical and more of a visionary, it might ultimately lead to greater balance,” Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching, advised during “The Juggle: Work/Life Integration,” the year’s first NEW Leadership Academy webinar, Feb. 16.
Miller offered tools for NEW members to define work/life integration for themselves and encouraged them to “do whatever it takes to make it work for you.”
Remembering a seminar she attended where women shared their secrets for “having it all,” Miller recounted how one woman said she got up at 4 a.m. for a gym workout. Another said she relied on help from two nannies. For Miller, such tactics are unsustainable.
Busy leaders need to define three non-negotiables — those items of greatest importance to work-life balance — and prioritize actions to honor them. For instance, if health, meal times and friends make the top three, you may want to schedule workouts, define meal times and always have a dinner or Skype conversation booked.
Another key to focusing on what’s important is creating a not-to-do list, a specific run-down of the ‘shoulds’ (“should have completed graduate school,” “should clean out the garage,” etc.) taking up mental space that you find yourself resisting.
“The not-to-do list is a great tool for letting go of those ‘shoulds’ and giving yourself permission to not have to do these things now,” Miller said. “Just because something is going on your not-to-do list doesn’t mean that it’s going to be there forever. You can update it, and move items on and off the list.”
Ultimately, your needs need to be met before you can satisfy the demands of life and career. “Put yourself first to create greater work-life integration,” Miller said.